Sexual Competitiveness and Compatibility between Mass-reared Sterile Flies and Wild Populations of Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae) from Different Regions in Mexico

Dina Orozco-Dvila, Refugio Hernndez, Salvador Meza, Julio Domnguez


The mass-reared colony of Anastrepha ludens (Loew) currently used in Mexico for suppression of the Mexican fruit fly has been in use for over 10 years. Sterile flies are released into a wide range of environmental conditions as part of an integrated area-wide approach to suppress diverse populations of this pest in the Mexican Republic. This paper assesses the performance of the sterile flies interacting with wild populations from the different environments. We investigated the sexual compatibility and competitiveness of the sterile flies when competing with wild populations from 6 representatives Mexican states: Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Michoacán, and Chiapas. Results show that the males of the wild populations differed in the time to the onset and peak of sexual activity. Nevertheless, the index of sexual isolation (ISI) reflected sexual compatibility between the populations and the mass-reared strain, indicating that the sterile individuals mate satisfactorily with the wild populations from the 6 states. The male relative performance index (MRPI) showed that the sterile male is as effective in copulating as the wild males. The female relative performance index (FRPI) reflected a general tendency for wild females to copulate in greater proportion than the sterile females, except for the strains from Tamaulipas and Chiapas. In general, the lower participation of the sterile females in copulation increases the possibilities of sterile males to mate with wild females. The relative sterility index (RSI) showed that the acceptance by wild females of the sterile males (25-55%) was similar to that of wild males. Females of the Chiapas strain showed the lowest acceptance of sterile males. Finally, the results obtained in the Fried test (which measures induced sterility in eggs) showed a competitiveness coefficient ranging from 0.2 to 0.5. This suggests that sterile males successfully compete and are compatible with flies from different geographic origins.

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